The offense was expected to be the story on Tuesday afternoon in Glendale, as the White Sox’s lineup in their home game against the San Francisco Giants looked as close to an Opening Day look as we’ve seen thus far, save for the sidelined Yasmani Grandal having the day off again.
Instead, it was the pitching that carried the headlines for the White Sox at Camelback Ranch, led by two scoreless innings logged by right-hander Drew Anderson to start the day.
After Anderson, Kelvin Herrera surrendered three runs to the Giants in the third inning. Steve Cishek, Aaron Bummer, Tayron Guerrero, Jimmy Cordero, Zack Burdi, and Christian Friedrich then turned in six consecutive scoreless innings.
The performance gave the White Sox 24 scoreless frames in a total of 27 played (not counting the awful b-team effort in the Goodyear portion of today’s split-squad affair).
In a portion of the spring where pitchers are at a disadvantage to hitters, usually working with less-than-ready stuff in the early-going, the White Sox pitching staff has looked strong.
Aaron Bummer quite possibly looked the best on Tuesday, with the stuff looking downright filthy on a 70-degree February day in Glendale, Arizona.
Despite a HBP to open his scoreless frame, Jimmy Cordero was also impressive, striking out the next three hitters and routinely hitting 98-99 MPH on the Camelback Ranch radar gun.
Downers Grove South product, Zack Burdi was at 96 MPH consistently in his scoreless inning of work in the eighth inning, as well.
On the offensive side, Jose Abreu got the White Sox in the hit column and on the board in the home half of the fourth inning when he doubled down the third-base line on a screaming liner, and then came around to score from second base on a line-drive run-scoring single by Eloy Jimenez.
Luis Robert scored the second run of the game the following inning, taking a 3-0 fastball to the right-field wall for a leadoff triple, and scored on the next at-bat when James McCann grounded out to shortstop.
Robert’s triple included a stumble between second and third base, highlighting his blazing speed as he still beat the throw easily despite the mishap.
Adam Engel roped an RBI-double to right field in the bottom of the ninth to score Daniel Palka, and Seby Zavala drove in Engel as the Sox squeaked out a 4-3 walk-off win over the Giants at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday afternoon.
On the flip side of this split-squad afternoon, the White Sox pitching was absolutely abysmal, allowing ten runs on 12 hits over the course of 8.0 IP, while the defense was charged with a trio of fielding errors en route to a 10-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
White Sox Twitter favorite Yermin Mercedes was 0-1 with a walk and was charged with a passed ball, while Cheslor Cuthbert went 1-3 with a pair of strikeouts at the plate and a pair of errors at third base.
The lone bright spot for that group was two scoreless innings turned in by reliever Danny Dopico. Dopico was an 11th-round selection by the White Sox in 2015.